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Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world…..
One million children have lost at least one parent.
Most people are employed in agriculture – Malawi’s only major resource.
97% of people have no electricity.
People spend their day outside. The roads are always busy with people on foot or on bicycle, transporting themselves, food and materials.
Children at MOET School are selected by village chiefs and elders and many are victims of HIV.
They get one good meal a day at the school (often their only source of food).
If an orphaned student becomes sick the school sends him/her to Koche clinic and pays for their treatment (all clinics are fee-paying), in order to ensure they remain healthy in mind and body to attend school and continue with their studies.
Through play and formal learning these children’s’ lives are transformed.
A Day in the Life of a MOET student
I normally wake up around 5.00am. I start the day by doing my household chores – cleaning up dishes, sweeping, heating up water. I wash myself and walk to school which is 3 km away.
I do not eat before I start my journey as I know that at break-time the school will feed me porridge. I am in Standard 3 so my school day is from 7.00am til 12.30.
Thursday is my favourite day as I can choose which after school club I want to take part in and I get lunch provided beforehand – this will be maize porridge or rice with meat, fish, beans or eggs (whatever is available) usually with vegetables as we grow these in our gardens here.
When I get home I help my guardians with the household chores – either digging land, planting seeds, weeding the garden or harvesting crops.
I then go home and study before it gets too late.
Why are there so many orphans in Malawi?
The current life expectancy in Malawi is has risen in recent years, but is still very low (58 for men and 61 for women – World Health Organisation 2013). The HIV/Aids pandemic has struck Malawi to its core and left 1 million children orphaned. In addition, frequent droughts can be fatal as can diseases such as malaria and bilharzia, if left untreated.
Who looks after the orphans who attend the school?
The orphans are looked after by guardians in their villages, who are assigned by the village elders and chief.
What happens to the children once they leave MOET?
After completing primary school many children in Malawi are left without any way of earning an honest living. MOET therefore has constructed a vocational training block, to help teach the older children trades to encourage self-reliance when they leave school.
In Malawi all secondary school education is fee-paying. Every year there are half a dozen children at MOET who are capable of furthering their education but do not have the funds to do so.
We have around 50 MOET graduates who are sponsored by donors in any one year. There are now children who started with the nursery class with MOET in 1999, were sponsored through secondary school and now are in further education. Two such girls are studying to be teachers themselves.